For the Church to awaken to the power of relationship and increase their commitment to connection.
Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us. – 1 Thessalonians 12:8
Today’s prayer focus is that the Church will awaken to the power of relationship and increase their commitment for connection.
Three weeks ago, as I was going to pick up my son Alex from a birthday party, when the Lord intersected my life with a reminder of the value he places on connectedness. It all began with a simple mistake:
Alex’s friend’s house number is 4388, while their neighbor’s house number is 4338 . Having never been to this particular friend’s house, I was merely listening to my GPS when it said, “You have a arrived at your destination.” I had glanced at the address briefly when I put it into my GPS, so I knew there were 4’s, 8’s, and 3’s in it, but had obviously not paid close enough attention to in what order. As you may have already guessed, I showed up at the neighbor’s!
As I walked to the door, not recognizing the woman, I thought perhaps is was another relative celebrating with them. However, when she opened the door, there was nothing but confusion and no Alex. We eventually figured out the mix up as we saw Alex jumping on the trampoline next door, yet something divine unfolded prior. The woman saw my license plate from Wisconsin!
She began telling me that her daughter was currently attending University of Wisconsin. Being my Alma Mater we shared a few stories and then she mentioned her daughter was on a rowing scholarship. Just another coincidence that I too was a college rower. She asked what brought us to Georgia and I shared about the call to teaching Christian leadership training. Long story short, this woman, just recently an empty-nester, was praying about her purpose in this new stage of her life. She felt led to become more involved in increasing Christian leadership in healthcare, as she was a nursing professor, but didn’t know where to start. I on the other hand, have always had a bucket list item of rowing in the Henley. As a motivation to be disciplined in my health with my MS diagnosis, I had increasingly been considering training once again for rowing.
I had connections for her, and she had direction for me. 20 minutes prior we did not even know each other—-God is in the business of connecting his people.
But the story continues, that Friday, as I was talking to our delivery man for our weekly local produce order, who we had intentionally gotten to know as a Sierra Leon resettled refugee, he shared about his wife’s challenges trying to pass the US nursing board exam. Being a successful nurse in Sierra Leon, she was getting discouraged at the struggle of American test formats and her remaining technical language barrier. With little feedback and direction of how to improve beyond the percentage she received in each area of the test, she felt a bit stuck as her passion to love people through nursing here seemed to be farther and farther from her grasp.
Feeling for her discouragement, I asked if they wanted to join us for church on Sunday and we could have lunch and fellowship afterwards. It was here that the Lord reminded me of “the neighbor nursing professor”, and the connection is history!
THE LORD MEETS NEEDS, FULFILLS THE DESIRES OF OUR HEARTS, PROVIDES HOPE,
AND SPREADS HIS GOODNESS THROUGH RELATIONSHIPS!
The question is. “Will we underestimate the value of our role in the Kingdom of God, the power of simple conversation, the breaking of bread, and the sharing of not only the gospel but our lives with one another? Will we continue to let our busyness undermine these priorities and rob the Kingdom and ourselves of the joy and blessing that stem from them. “
What would happen if you were putting together a puzzle and 5 pieces were missing? You would never get the full picture. The full beauty of the artwork would never be revealed. WE ARE GOD’S DIVINE PUZZLE….That’s what the devil tries to steal from the Church with the distractions and busyness of this world.
Luckily for us, Gods pursuit of goodness to bring Heaven to Earth is stronger than our distractions. He will intersect our lives to remind us of His values and purposes when we surrender to him daily.
Heavenly Father, we stand in awe of your pursuit of us. We stand in wonder of the mystery of your divine workings and connections. Father wake up your Church to the power of connection and relationship. Remove our blinders that keep us so internal that we don’t see the people in front of us whom you desire for us to connect with. Father, you created us in your image, to love and be loved; breath your supernatural energy into us that we do not grow weary of meeting together and sharing life together. Even today Lord, reveal to our hearts those relationships, those divine connections, you want us to invest in to continue your Kingdom work through us. Father by your mercies, raise us up to be a living sacrifice holy and pleasing to you. Teach us to surrender every moment, every conversation, and ever meal to your purposes. In Jesus name we pray. AMEN